The New South Wales Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has slammed the Australian Rugby Union for its extraordinary 11th hour decision to pull fullback Israel Folau out of tonight's Super Rugby match against the Western Force.
Sidelined for two weeks with a throat injury, Folau had been picked for the Perth clash after being deemed fit to play by Waratahs medical staff.
However, the ARU's chief medical officer overruled his selection late yesterday.
Cheika told Reuters the ARU had breached protocols by conducting their own independent medical analysis without notifying the team.
He rejected the suggestion the Waratahs had been prepared to risk the player's safety.
Cheika says he's disappointed that there wasn't faith in the way they do things and that Folau is very frustrated by the decision.
The ARU said in a statement that Folau's injury had not healed to the point where it was in his "best interests" to play.